Local people in Lanarkshire have helped to develop a new website designed to help anyone concerned about how alcohol may be affecting their family.
My Family and Alcohol is an Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) website which aims to reduce the impact of alcohol on health, families and communities.
In partnership with Airdrie Community Learning and Development - staff from NHS Lanarkshire worked with AFS to facilitate two discussion groups where members of the community shared their experiences of alcohol throughout their lifetimes. Building on these discussions, the website includes three short videos documenting the stories of people whose lives have been affected by alcohol.
National statistics shows that one in four people drink more than the safe recommended levels, one in three people report having a heavy drinker in their lives, while one in two people report having been harmed by someone else’s drinking.
The new site provides information about alcohol, helps people to think about if and how alcohol might be affecting then or their family and find help and support if needed.
Tracy-Ann Kidd, Health Improvement Senior, from NHS Lanarkshire said, “Many of us dismiss our own or our family’s and friends’ drinking habits as a harmless social activity. But often it’s people other than the drinker who feel the effects the most - children, family, friends, colleagues and those working in front line services like the NHS and police.
As well as the adverse effects on physical health – high blood pressure, liver disease, stroke, cancer and brain damage – excessive drinking can also cause depression and social problems such as family breakdown or losing employment.
“We need to be aware of the impact of alcohol on our health and our relationships and recognise when we need to do that. My Family and Alcohol is an excellent resource that offers support through information and advice to help people when alcohol becomes a problem for them or their family.”
Visit www.myfamilyandalcohol.org.uk to find out more.